Nia Glassie abuser freed to Hamilton address

JENNA LYNCH
Last updated 05:00 16/10/2012
Nia Glassie
NIA GLASSIE: Suffered shocking abuse.

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Five years after the brutal death of toddler Nia Glassie at the hands of her caregivers, one of the men convicted of abusing her is set to walk free in Hamilton.

William Curtis, 53, has now served his full four-year sentence after being denied parole four times, and was released to a Hamilton address yesterday.

Department of Corrections regional manager Terry Buffery said that measures had been put in place to rehabilitate Curtis with Nia in mind.

"He is a high-profile offender and our thoughts naturally turn to the victim of his crime.

"He must now be released back into the community and there are measures in place to aid with his reintegration back into society," he said.

Curtis would be subject to standard and special conditions, valid for six months after his release, which included attending and completing a domestic violence programme and counselling.

Curtis will also be unable to have any contact with any person under the age of 17 unless under the supervision of an approved adult and must not change his address or stay elsewhere overnight without prior written approval from a probation officer.

"He will not be eligible to be recalled to prison as he has served the full sentence imposed on him, however, a breach of release conditions can attract a penalty of up to 12 months imprisonment," Mr Buffery said.

Curtis, a former Black Power member, was found guilty of eight counts of assault between March and July 2007, including one of assault with a weapon - referring to an incident in which he tied a scarf around Nia's neck and dangled her in the air until she turned purple.

He also smacked her several times, pushed her, kicked her and threatened to stomp on her head if she did not stop crying.

Sensible Sentencing Trust national spokesman Garth McVicar told The Waikato Times last night he considered the four-year sentence Curtis received "pathetic".

"It ignored the consequences to Nia and in the wider field, to other victims as well," he said.

"It sends all the wrong messages to society in general. We shouldn't be tolerating it."

Curtis entered a not guilty plea during his trial and continues to deny some of the more horrific charges of abuse.

His sons Wiremu and Michael both received life sentences in February 2009 with minimum non-parole terms of 17 years for murdering the Rotorua three-year-old who suffered months of torment at their hands.

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- Waikato Times

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